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Language and Communication Simple topic maintenance  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


The pupil/student is able to say one or two words or phrases related to a current topic of conversation

Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Curriculum skill:PSHE and Citizenship
P-scales/Curriculum level:P7
TAP skill:not specified
TAP level:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info; Post School Education info; Adult info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
My interests
  1. By talking with the student, find out what their current interests/concerns are. This could be for example that they're going to the dentist, they have been watching football etc.
  2. Use this as a basis for the next set of activities: prepare materials that could help words or phrases about this topic appropriate/necessary.
Topic introduction
  • Paper, pens, source of pictures;
  • Topic to talk about - give students a choice of topics from their interests/ concerns/ experiences for exmple - football, dentist, school/college trip
  1. Choose a topic and talk through it with the students using the prompts where necessary to support students to say words or phrases about the topic;
  2. Make a list of these words/phrases with pictures that the students can refer to - you could make this into a poster with the students.
Talk about it
  • Picture cards to represent the topics the students could talk about;
  • Poster prompts from the "Topic introduction" activity
  1. Turn over a topic card;
  2. Each student takes it in turns to say one thing about the topic - use the topic posters to help if necessary - each student must say a new thing (not repeat something that has been said before).


  • Give a reward each time a student says something related to the topic;
  • Set off a buzzer when a student says something that is not on the topic;
Likes and dislikes

Something to record the students responses on (e.g. paper/pen) which can later be used as a prompt;

Soft ball or beanbag.

  1. Go round each student, asking them what their favourite food is - write it down and/or do a very rough sketch of it as you go;
  2. One student has a ball, they choose another student and say the other student's name and what their favourite food is - for example "Tom - (you like) burgers". They then pass the ball to that student. Use the prompts you made in step 1 if necessary.

To make it harder, you can go around again asking for favourite drinks - so that everyone now has to remember a food and a drink for each student when they pass the ball (e.g "Tim - (you like) carrot cake and tea").

You could use favourite games, favourite places to go, etc. instead.

What have you done today?

Way of recording students responses - e.g. paper/pen, whiteboard/marker;

Soft ball or beanbag.

  1. Go round each student in turn asking what they have done today - e.g. "what did you do this morning": ideally one or two things each;
  2. Write and/or sketch something (very roughly!!) under each student's name on the sheet of paper (you can use this as a prompt later);
  3. Give a student the ball, they need to choose one person, say their name and what they did - e.g. "Michael - (you went)swimming", then throw the ball to that person - use the prompt sheet if necessary;
  4. The person who receives the ball then chooses someone else to throw it to.
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